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Friday, September 10, 2010

Commercial Scallop Season Right Around the Corner

Commercial Scallop Season starts November 1. It doesn't look like a good season this year. The rust tide is killing off the scallops. I witnessed huge areas of rust tide in the harbor this summer. Much more than last summer. This may end the scallop industry here on Nantucket as we know it.


Below is a video clip I shot from my scallop boat last November-

And here is a rare, tranquil and windless day out scalloping-


Richard said...

We need to come to grips with scalloping.Truth is, its over.The big money years are history now and the seasons of 5,6,8 or more boxes a tow are but a memory.The harbor is dead and as hard as biologists try and the Marine Dept.tries,the harbor ain't coming back.Blame the huge yachts,the wealthy fertilizing their lawns or blame George Bush if you want but its over.How lucky we were 30 and 40 years ago to have seen the best of it.We fished in the dark,we took extras,we risked drowning fishing gales of wind that turned the harbor white,we ran aground,got lost in the fog and stuck in the ice and we loved every minute of it.Damn shame its gone,cap.

Martie said...

Well said, Richard!!! I remember the big years back in the 80's and 90's commercial scalloping. I remember getting my limit of 5 bushels of scallops in one or two tows. I remember getting back to the dock at 8am with my limit of scallops. I remember making $600 per day scalloping. I remember good years and I remember not so good years. I remember gales of wind while I was out scalloping wondering if my boat would make it through. She always did. I remember getting stuck in the ice out scalloping. I remember huge ice floes riding up my dredge ropes and almost coming into my boat. I remember beautiful sunrises from my scallop boat. I remember thick fog and getting lost. I remember rainy days. I remember calm days when it was snowing and you could hear the snowflakes hitting the water. I remember horribly windy days where the wind would whip the tops off the waves. I remember a lot of good things about commercial bay scalloping. I loved every min of it. Good times and bad times. I fear though that the end of commercial bay scalloping on Nantucket as we know it is near. I'm not sure who to blame. Not sure if I should blame the yachts that come here in the summer. Not sure if I should blame the wealthy people who build ugly trophy monstrosities and fertilize their lawns. I'm not sure if I should blame George Bush. Maybe we should blame Mother Nature. I don't have any answers and neither does anyone else. I will miss commercial scalloping. It's been a great run for me.

Vincent Manfredi said...

The coastal ecosystem is under stress. You should pressure your town to restrict allowed nitrogen inputs to your enclosed scallop areas (those in the harbor mostly). Nantucket and some of the Vineyard are the last healthier vestiges for this species in New England. As a marine scientist, I hope that greed and poor planning will not overcome another fishery that could be salvaged. I think that the price paid for these scallops is outrageous, and has driven the fishery to ignore conservation over profit. The time to act is now, and limiting the fishery in pristine areas may be a way to save the areas already effected by pollution. I am not against the fishery, I think that steps need to be taken now to save it. The views I share are personal and represent my own best professional judgement and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.